I visited my college’s alumni lacrosse game today. After graduating five years ago, I had been before, but this year felt different. The connections felt weaker, the vibes felt monotonous, and the event seemed trivial. What once seemed like the epicenter of my existence, now felt silly. Have I outgrown the scene?
It only makes sense. I have a wife and a young son. My family has replaced my old community…as it should. I wore an aging sweatshirt and watched the lifeblood of the program play a game against the aging alumni. Why? Why should I care after these years? I’m not sure, but I do.
I suppose I have tried to capture a life and an existence that was and is so fleeting. The nostalgia had a stranglehold on my ego. The glory days now seem like an old home movie that is blurry and out of focus. Old friends. Old teammates. Old memories. The scene is old. Actually, the scene is the same. I am old.
How did the immortal sensations of youth come to pass? When and how did I seem to suddenly turn thirty? Where did the years go? What have I been holding onto? It must have been a sense of belonging, a sense of community, or more so an identity that I wanted to maintain. It now seems so ridiculous. How could I have turned a bubble into my world?
Despite the somewhat depressing nature of it all, I was reminded that life is so much bigger, and there are so many more important things going on. Where I once hung my hat, there is no hook, and many other hats have gone missing. I will never be able to replicate that time or that space or those moments. They seem like just yesterday, but I suppose all strong memories do.
It is time to make new memories and experience new moments with my family. I am so lucky and so grateful to have a healthy and happy wife and child. They outshine all of the experiences and opportunities that I have been given in this lifetime. They should be my ultimate focus, yet I routinely find myself drifting back in time to what could have been.
Holding onto the past prevents us from not only experiencing the present, but also from building a healthy and happy future. Time slips by because we are trapped in a bygone era. The memories fade, the experience starts to blur, and the connections drift further and further apart. The best option is to continually live into the moment, cherish the present and be excited for the future. Without St. Mary’s, without lacrosse, and without my old friends, who am I? I can become whoever I choose to be, but I guess only time will tell.